Thankfully Erubetie's mind decided to give her some respite as she slept with nary a dream. However her body still felt incredibly exausted from the previous day's ordeal. It had been more than half a millenia since she could recall even being in such a state. For the longest time she was aware of just how extensively complex her body had become over the centuries, every synapse that held and shaped her body ached beyond belief. Even trying to form the most basic of shapes sent waves of pain throughout, threatening to shut her mind down for a third time.
Having no wish to even take a chance at repeating the visions that plagued her slumber earlier the Slime Queen decided to postpone from taking her usual shape, instead opting to remain as a formless puddle in some rather relaxing warm water. Even in this state her she was able to still sense the world around her to some extent. Letting the water pass into her she marvelled at just how pure it was, containing just trace amounts of minerals found only in the cleanest springs. It took her moment to realize that the water should actually have been rather contaminated as her body had generated a considerable amount of radiation twice in one day. But there appeared to be no trace of the deadly toxins in the water, nor in her body itself. A brief thought that she was actually dead like she felt in her dream came over her until she remembered just how much pain she was in. Certainly being truly dead would have spared her this agony.
She let her body relax even more, spreading her slime out from the center that housed the gem she normally wore on her forehead. Eventually it brushed alongside a rather smooth metallic wall. Feeling the slight a curvature she determined the pool was cylindrical in shape. Infact the precision of the circular enclosement fascinated her as she had never experienced such perfection before. Curiousity began to overtake her as she let slime spread along the wall, detecting evenly spaced microscopic holes, some gently sucking in water while others jetting out fresh. Recalling how much her body was breaking up when she crash landed into that lake Erubetie began to wonder how much of her own body had dissolved to the point of being sucked in by metal pores.
Deciding she needed to explore more of her enviroment Erubetie summoned her near legendary iron will to gather her body into her accustomed humanoid shape. Her body protested the sudden command to gather up and take form, sending shocks of pain akin to muscle spasms throughout. But the Queen Of Ten-Thousand Beings ignored her subjects attempts at revolt and soon found herself in a more familar shape, placing her favored gem atop its usual adornment spot.
With a more standard body type as well as eyes to sense light she could tell the pool she rested in was fairly shallow as the water came up to only just above where humans and some monsters had knees. While she could certainly take in oxygen from the water having part of her body exposed to the air made the process of absorbing the needed gas considerably easier and the cells in her body thanked her by easing up on the pulses of pain. Still, she did not want to leave the warm comforting water, settling back into a sitting position with her back along the wall actually, enjoying the feel of the metal holes massaging her as they pulled and pushed against her body.
Starting to feel more relaxed she finally took note of her surroundings, gazing at the lights above her that seemed to be filling the room with a gentle glow that was as soothing as the warmth enveloping her. Noticing the lights were fairly high up she soon discovered that she was in a pit area within the room and thoughts about her nightmare started to creep up. Pushing them back down she could see a ladder leading to the floor above. While she could certainly extend her body to make it up there the presence of the ladder suggested that she was not in some sort of prison cell. In fact everything about this place seemed designed more for one to relax in.
Finally bringing her sight back to the pool she finally noticed she was not alone, a unconscious human male appeared to be sharing the pool with her. Erubetie felt a bit shaken at the thought she did not notice him before. Her next thought was that someone must have left him there as a meal for her, knowing that she would be hungry when she finally awoke. With this in mind she made her way over to his end of the pool and sat back down next to him. Noticing the smooth black suit he was wearing it struck her that she had seen this person before, though then she mistook him for a sea creature. This time though he was absent the flippers and metal cylinders on his back. Her curiosity once again got a hold of her as she placed a hand along the surface of the suit, feeling somthing akin to shark skin. A flash of anger erupted in her at the thought that a human would have the audacity to hunt such majestic creatures and wear their skin. But her fury quickly subsided as her infatuation with the suit revealed it lacked the and sort of imperfections that should have come from the years the creatures lived in the rough seas. Infact it contained almost the same level consistent quality as the metal wall around her. No this was not shark skin, or like any other creature she had ever felt in her life.
Knowing this was the person who probably rescued her after she landed she forced herself to abandon thoughts of consuming him, well his body at least. Instead she let herself futher indulge in her curiosity, snaking her arm along the the suit, tracing the rather toned muscle ridges he possessed. Feeling a bit playful Erubetie let her slime ski along the slopes and ridges of the man's chest as it heaved at a steady rate, noting his rather fit form. A rare smile graced her lips as her mind raced to remember the last time she let herself has such pure fun. She then made her way up along his neck, stretching her own to get a look at the face of her rescuer. A chill as great as the one she felt in her nightmare gripped her as the man's visage was revealed.
????: OH THAT'S COLD!
Realizing she still had slime moving along the man's chest she quickly retracted her body, pulling her own head back. What shocked her afterwards was the fact that she was genuinely embarrassed at causing this human discomfort. She then mentally cursed Luka, blaming him for allowing her to feel anything for a contemptuous human. Taking a moment to gather her will she once again turned to the person who shared the pool with her, confirming what she hoped was a grave mistake on her part, the face of the man she saw Ilias throw into the pit in her nightmare. While the face she remembered was covered in scars there was no doubt this man possessed it. She tried to rationalize why his face was there in her vision, only coming up with the possibility she briefly saw it when he reached her in the water. But that reasoning did not hold up as she could clearly remember it being heavily obstructed by some kind of bulky mouth piece and large eyewear. The man apparently managed to come out of his shock from being woken up abruptly and turned to her with a soft smile on his face
????: Well hello there young lady, glad to see you survived. You gave me quite a scare as you were dissolving in my arms just as I brought you here. It seems the Purifier did its job and removed that radiation, allowing you to regenerate. Sorry you didn't have the place to yourself but you kind of irratiated me a bit as well.
Another pang of guilt passed through Erubetie followed by an even more explicit mental curse of Luka's name.
Betrand: I know this isn't the most proper of settings for introductions but I, Betrand, would like to welcome you to the city of Sharanya. We don't normally have refugees falling from the sky...did they suddenly start pumping in cold water?
Another shiver ran through Erubetie as he confirmed himself to be the man in her dream, the one with the fiery eyes, though here they were a rather beautiful shade of sapphire and his body and face was certainly more handsome that what she witnessed. And his frame was well toned, basically what Luka would look like if he actually grew a pair to match his spirit. His hair was also well kept unlike that blue porcupine fringe Luka called... Damnit stop it Erubetie! What the hell is wrong with you? The slime girl attempted to refocus her thoughts.
Erubetie: Hi uh...my name's Erubetie, ah nice to meet you.
'Nice to meet you'!? What the hell possessed you to say that, she thought. You should putting the fear of the Slime Queen in this lowly human, he should be terrified at the mere thought of your presence! Instead you stutter like a little school girl addressing the new teacher. If any of the other Heavenly Knights or Alice found out about this they would torment you to your wits end about it. At least Luka was not around ot hear you say that, else he would probably start spouting some mumbo jumbo about co-existence and breaking down walls. No, time to reclaim the cold and frightening personality you are known for. Feeling more self assured about herself she decided to reintroduce herself.
Erubetie: What I mean is, I am Erubetie, Queen of the Slimes, Master of the Powers of Waters and Shape Shifting as well as one of the four Heavenly Knights of the Monster Lord Aliphese the Sixteenth. And how dare you attempt to share the same waters as I, I have killed countless other pathetic humans for less infractions.
Betrand eyes went wide as he continued to stare at Erubetie. There, that put him in his place, she though satisfactorily. But her enthusiasm was cut short as Betrand burst out laughing, leaving her in utter dismay about how to proceed, she had never met anyone who responded in such a way before.
Betrand: Wow, I guess the stories about you are true. You are quite full of yourself.
His response caused her to feel a flash of anger. She formed a tentacle to strangle the man for his insolence.
Betrand: I wouldn't do that, you'd be severe agony before you blow would even land.
The complete lack of mirth in his tone caused Erubetie to halt her intended assault. Looking back at him she noticed he was looking up towards the second floor. Turning around Erubetie saw an array of monsters and humans along the second floor platform pointing devices at her. It had been several centuries since she had witnessed firearms being welded in the world however none of the ones aimed at her looked remotely familiar. Erubetie backed down, not willing to take the chance of enduring anymore pain than her body was already feeling.
Betrand: That's better, would you like to start over? Maybe we can both remain polite this time.
Erubetie gave a slight nod, though she continued to wear her haughty expression.
Betrand: Once again, I would like to welcome you to the city of Sharanya.
Erubetie's expression changed to one of doubting.
Erubetie: While I know I tend to isolate myself from the rest of the world I am familiar with the civilizations you humans build with the express purpose to pollute the area around you, no such place exists on this world.
She watched Betrand as his face made the familiar of expression of someone not quite sure how to explain something.
Betrand: It does and it doesn't. It's more akin to Heaven...spacially it's there but you can't see or feel it unless certain adjustments have been made. Given the number of rads in your body when I found you, you must have been trying go nuclear. The barrier must have sensed the enormous amount of easy energy nearby and phased you into our dimension to absorb it. She doesn't get nuclear lunches very often.
Her doubting expression deepened.
Erubetie: How could such a being as such yourself even know of such things? Your people are little more than neanderthals, just now learning how to use more than sharp sticks.
Betrand: I thought we agreed to keep things polite. But to answer your question this city has been here for about eleven hundred years. In that time we've learned a trick or two...not to mention we figured out how to phase ourselves out of the main world before your great ancestors were drops of goo falling off the side of a trashcan.
The Slime Queen just sat there in stunned silence. Never in her entire existence had she ever been addressed as such. No being, let alone a human had ever had the gall to speak to her like that.
Erubetie: You wouldn't be saying that if your gun toting lackeys weren't here.
Betrand: They left a bit ago, it's just you and me here now.
Erubetie looked up to confirm his statement. Finding no one ready to open fire on her she turned back to Betrand. Then the image of his scarred face spitting at Ilias went through her head. If he was able to even muster the will to do that after being subjected by that kind of torment then being intimidated by her seemed unlikely. Then again it was only a dream she tried to remind herself. Still, this human at least showed spirit if not common sense. She gave him that much grudging respect.
Erubetie: Fine, I'll believe what you say. But why have i never heard of this place if its been around for so long?
Betrand: We've taken great pains to keep its existence a secret. This place was designed to be a refuge from Ilias and Aliphese's constant bickering and meddling. Those who ended up here rarely left, not that most of them wanted to as they were trying to escape the destruction of war. Thankfully the last few centuries have quieted down a bit so fewer come here for that reason.
Seeing her remain silently attentive Betrand continued.
Betrand: This city was founded humans and monsters whose lives were being torn apart by hatred from both sides. Neither the forces of Ilias or Aliphese would leave those who wanted nothing to do with their squabbles in peace, In their view if you cooperated with the other race in any way or you just refused to fight you were a traitor and were to be killed on sight. So a pair of 'fallen angels', a monster along with all the brilliant minds they could find who also shared a distaste the conflict got together to figure out how to hide and weather the storm.
Erubetie: I sense there's more to the story than that.
Betrand just smiled and began to stand up. He then offered his hand to her and she unconsciously took it, allowing him to assist her in rising from the pool, heading to the staircase to the upper floor. He let her go up first as he replied.
Betrand: There is but we've been here for a while. The radiation should be completely gone and I believe a meal is in order before we delve further into my fair city's 'sordid' past as it dared to say no to two petty children with too much power and time on their hands.
Erubetie looked down at him with a smirk.
Erubetie: Ha! I knew you were here for me to feast on. You sad men can't resist letting us monsters have our way with you can you?
An awkward silence passed between them as he looked up at her with a dead pan expression.
Betrand: Actually I was talking about getting a nice steak dinner but if you're offering...
It took her a moment to see that he was joking. Though part of her wished he was not as she could eat right now and he did look potentially appetizing. When they reached the top he lead her towards the exit to the room then stopped and turned to her with a serious expression on his face.
Betrand: I understand the world outside this city is quite a bit different about such things. I know certain monsters semen is the only way they can actually survive and that jumping men on the road is a necessity. However here such behavior is not tolerated. If you wish to partake please be respectful and ask. If they refuse...probably unlikely, please respect that person's wishes.
A feeling came over Erubetie as a sizable grin formed on her face.
Erubetie: No promises!
Betrand just shook his head and lead her out to the city proper.
Apparently when I wrote the first draft of this chapter I had apparently just rewatched the Gag Reels as Erubetie took an axe to the fourth wall numerous times throughout it. Also for some reason the writing switched from third person to first person, I'm thinking she hijacked my mind at that point as the rest of the chapters were written in this manner. With this first revision I'm basically having to do more extensive rewriting than I originally anticipated. The first half of chapter alone also grew extensively in size so I decided to cut it off at this point as I kind of want to keep them somewhat short for bitsized reading. The second half will go under revision and should encompass an entire chapter as well. Unfortunately this may interfere with my desire to at least post a chapter a day for the first story. On the upside the writing quality should be drastically improved and will definitely make for a better story overall.
I still wish to know what I was on when I wrote my first draft as it included Erubetie keeping some kind of scoreboard in her head and her going into a long monologue about about why there are guns in this world if the world is still using swords and armor, eventually leading to her ranting about J.J. Abrams and how he keeps starting with good things and ruins them. Of course then she started talking to Luka off stage getting him to do his Barry White voice and her promising the reader that a rape scene would eventually happen or possibly that kinky interspecies lesbian sex scene Tamamo apparently had no interest in...Yeah, something was definitely in the air that day.